4G technology basically defines the next generation of mobile devices. The use of G – standing for ‘generation’ – in mobile technology covers the major advances of the past 20-30 years. First came 1G technology which was widely used in cell phones; 2G came next in the early 1990s which made text messaging possible and introduced us to a revolutionized digital scenario; 3G technology improved the efficiency of how data is carried which made it possible for us to carry information services, such as websites, in their original formats; and now we have 4G mobile technology, which is not yet an agreed upon industrial standard so the conversation is currently focused on its goals and not its requirements.
Elaborating more on its goals, 4G should use enhanced security measures and the data transfer speed should be high to meet requirements and increase efficiency for users. It should also reduce blips in transmission when a device moves between areas covered by different networks. 4G mobile networks must also use a network based on the IP address system, same as is used for the Internet. Unlike the previous generation of mobile technologies 4G will be intensively used for Internet access on computers as well as carrying cell phone communications. People who reside in areas having high 4G coverage can use it for broadband connection directly. It can also be used for accessing the Internet on the move without having to be in a wireless hotspot.
In India the reliance industries will start offering 4G services probably in the summer of this year. Sources within the RIL, headed by Mukesh Ambani, revealed to The Economic Times that it plans to provide 4G connectivity to 700 cities by June of this year, which will definitely be a big step toward its developing India.RIL will be touting speeds of up to 50–100 Mbps on its network. Taking this into account, low costs and high speed are the main avenues through which it will rise in the market, with its speed being 7 times that of 3G.It is also planning to launch low-cost data cards and Android-powered tablets to counter the price-sensitive market of India.
The only obstructions in the way of RIL are government regulations that restrict the use of RIL’s wireless access spectrum for transmitting voice data. So a change in government regulations and policy may allow them to offer voice services on their 4G network in the future, which will undoubtedly be a huge improvement for the coming era of advanced development and will create new ways for the country to reach to the peak of modernization and compete with the world’s most developed countries like the United States, China and so forth.
Further, 4G applications are set to evolve in a multiplatform environment. 4G apps will be available across various wireless technologies like LTE, Wi-Fi, etc., and also in devices like cell phones, laptops, e-readers, digital cameras, printers and so on. 4G applications are very likely to be extended and improved versions of the existing 3G services, but it is still unclear what the capacity of 4G will hold for the mobile world.
Thus, for the time being, it is assumed that the next generation of wireless applications and services, such as e-readers, mobile IPTV, mobile marketing and geo-targeted advertising, location-based mobile applications embedded in social networking are likely to become the key applications in the upcoming 4G apps space. Reports by various newspapers and television news programs state that the 4G industry is likely to see many more exciting and revolutionary new devices being created. In addition, mobile app stores are set to become a key distribution channel for upcoming 4G applications.
While the rapid technological advancement holds vast potential for this new frontier, there are several issues that need to be addressed so that 4G can truly live up to and exceed its potential. These issues include but are not limited to the need for sustainable and lucrative 4G business models, important privacy and security issues, creating industry standards of excellence and meeting them in all facets of the technology, dealing with handset limitations, improving poor use experience reported by users for many different phones and importantly the lack of awareness of mobile data services among people.
The 4G revolution still awaits India. Drastic changes and improvements from 3G technology need to be a priority and, before they’re addressed, there are many gray areas for 4G. But if done intelligently and thoroughly, 4G holds enormous potential for India and can really create a boom in the IT industry, key to the Indian economy. Hence the evolution from 3G to 4G will be stimulated by services offering enhanced quality, requires increased bandwidth, needs elevated sophistication of large-scale information provisions and must have improved customization capabilities to support myriad user demands.